Kyle Lowry scored 24 points and DeMar DeRozan added 21 as the Toronto Raptors defeated the San Antonio Spurs 86-83 in a defensive battle on Friday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Toronto led just 70-69 with 6:53 to play but ran away with a 10-2 run over the ensuing four and a half minutes to build enough of a cushion to hold off the Spurs’ late surge, which included a last-second missed shot by Bryn Forbes that could have tied the game.
The Raptors outshot San Antonio 40 percent-33. 3 percent and outlasted the Spurs despite being outrebounded 55-50.
Jonas Valanciunas scored 15 points and took 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who won their second straight game. It was Toronto’s lowest-scoring game of the season; the Raptors average more than 112 points per game.
LaMarcus Aldridge led San Antonio with 17 points and 13 rebounds while Pau Gasol added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs, who played without injured forwards Kawhi Leonard and Rudy Gay and injured guard Manu Ginobili.
Patty Mills pumped in 13 points for San Antonio but was just 1 of 9 on his 3-point shots. Kyle Anderson pulled down 11 rebounds for the Spurs in the loss.
Aldridge’s double-double was his 19th of the season, more than he had in all of the 2016-17 season.
The Raptors shrugged off a ragged start to forge a 44-37 lead at halftime. Toronto’s defense took center stage in the half, limiting San Antonio to 32.6 percent shooting and a 2-for-7 showing on 3-point shots.
Lowry paced all scorers with 11 points while DeRozen hit for eight for Toronto in the first half. The Raptors shot 41.7 percent over the first two quarters, with seven of their 18 made shots coming from beyond the arc.
Gasol led the Spurs with 10 points and Mills poured in nine; Aldridge, San Antonio’s leading scorer in 36 of the 45 games he’s played this season, was limited to five points on 2-of-11 shooting from the floor in the first 24 minutes.
Toronto’s lead grew to 61-52 on a turnaround jumper from Valanciunas with 3:02 to play in the third quarter but that’s when Aldridge kicked his game into gear, scoring eight straight points on two free throws and three baskets to bring the Spurs to within 61-60 with 1:17 left in the period.
-- Field Level Media